Sean Shaw endorses Karen Skyers as his successor in HD 61

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Democratic Rep. Sean Shaw weighed in on the contest for the Florida House seat he’s giving up to run for Attorney General, announcing Wednesday that Tampa lawyer Karen Skyers is his pick to succeed him in Hillsborough County’s House District 61.

“Karen Skyers is the right choice to build upon the progress that we have achieved in House District 61 over the last two years,” Shaw said. “Karen is a tough-as-nails fighter, who will be a zealous advocate for the citizens of Tampa. I am excited to personally endorse Karen’s candidacy and work with her to move HD 61 forward.”

Shaw’s endorsement comes a couple weeks after Skyers, a former lobbyist, earned the backing of Ruth’s List Florida, a Democratic Party-aligned group that supports female candidates for public office. Her other backers include Orlando Sen. Victor Torres, the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida and former Sen. Arthenia Joyner, whom Skyers worked for as a legislative aide prior to joining Becker & Poliakoff.

“This endorsement is a great honor,” Skyers said. “Representative Shaw has been a powerful voice for the people of District 61 as their state lawmaker, and, before that, for the people of Florida as the State Insurance Consumer Advocate. I look forward to continuing in his footsteps and his commitment to service in the House of Representatives.”

Skyers faces Sharon CarterDianne Hart and Norman Harris in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary, and thus far she holds the lead in overall fundraising while Hart, who lost the 2016 Democratic primary by just 101 votes, holds a cash-on-hand advantage.

As of July 20, Skyers had raised more than $57,000 for her campaign account and had $14,225 in the bank while Hart had raised about $44,000, including $15,000 in loans, and had $33,000 in the bank. Harris and Carter trail the considerably.

HD 61 covers downtown Tampa, Ybor City, and Seminole Heights. Democrats hold an overwhelming advantage at the polls. It is one of five state legislative districts this cycle that had its primary locked down by a write-in candidate.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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